A Black Sun, From 'Splendor Solis', 16th Century
A Black Sun - from 'Splendor Solis' , a 16th century German alchemical manual attributed to Splendor Solis (The Splendour of the Sun) attributed to 'Salomon Trismosin'. This edition (probably 19th century ) is in the Wellcome Collection.
Based on an original watercolour illustration from Splendor Solis ('The Splendour of the Sun'), a German alchemical manual dating from around 1582.
The original of Splendor Solis, which contained seven chapters, appeared in Augsburg. The author of the manuscript was considered to be the legendary Salomon Trismosin, allegedly the teacher of Paracelsus, though the name is believed to be a pseudonym. The work consists of a sequence of 22 elaborate images, set in ornamental borders and niches. The symbolic process shows the classical alchemical death and rebirth of the king, and incorporates a series of seven flasks, each associated with one of the then-known planets. Within the flasks a process is shown involving the transformation of bird and animal symbols into the Queen and King, the white and the red tincture. Although the style of the Splendor Solis illuminations suggest an earlier date, they are clearly of the 16th century.
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